Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day (and a Movie Recommendation)

On this day when we remember all the brave men and women in uniform who selflessly serve the United States of America--and even sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for the sake of their country and its citizens--I thought I'd share this picture of some fine upstanding future Army officers.
These three boys are Army ROTC cadets who are undergrads at the University of Notre Dame--proud members of the Fighting Irish Battalion that trains there on campus.  They signed up, they gave their pledge,  knowing that in the years after graduation, they will have to put the training they've received into practice in the real world as leaders in the US Army.  They may one day be called to deploy to dangerous regions all over the globe and be separated from their loved ones for months and months at a time, and yet they wanted to sign up anyway.  God bless them, and all the others like them.

That tall, handsome cadet in the middle?  That one is my baby.

On Friday, my husband and I went on a spur-of-the-moment date, and we had a late lunch out at Uno's, followed by an early evening matinee.  We decided to see the movie "Captain Phillips," intrigued because it was based upon true events that we can remember watching as they unfolded in real time on the news.  It tells the story of the 2009 hijacking of a US merchant ship called the Maersk Alabama by a small band of Somali pirates.  The ship's captain, a mild-mannered VT native named Rich Phillips, ends up being taken hostage by the pirates aboard one of the ship's tiny lifeboats.  With a story like that (not to mention the talented and always watchable Tom Hanks in the title role), we figured it would be an edge-of-your-seat, action-packed thrill ride.  We were not disappointed.

Toward the end of the movie, just as the action was reaching a climax and it seemed that Captain Phillips would never come out of his horrifying ordeal alive, my eyes filled with tears.  But they were not tears of pity for this poor innocent American (whose ship, ironically, was carrying among other things some aid in the form of food and water for the people of Somalia); in part they were, but not totally.  I mean, you would have to have a pretty hard heart not to find yourself immensely moved by the captain's bravery and decency.  This ordinary-turned-extraordinary man never lost his humanity, no matter how brutally he was treated--indeed, his actions toward his kidnappers, despite their brutality toward him, were heroic and even at times saintly.  But the thing that really got the waterworks going was the sight of three US Navy ships--three giant ships!--and a Navy Seal team, rushing to the scene and carefully coordinating a rescue plan, all to save the life of a single American soul.  All those resources were called upon--the very best the US military has to offer--to save one man's life.  The realization that that is what we do, what we always do--that we never leave one of ours behind, that we risk life and limb for our countrymen in harm's way--is what brought tears to my eyes.
What I took away from "Captain Phillips" is this: OUR MILITARY IS AWESOME!  OUR COUNTRY IS AWESOME!  WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD WOULD SO MUCH MONEY BE SPENT, SO MANY ASSETS BE DEPLOYED...ALL FOR THE SAKE OF ONE MAN?

Nowhere, that's where.  And when the US military is called upon to get a job done--look out, bad guys.

I repeat: OUR MILITARY IS AWESOME!

HAPPY VETERANS DAY, TO ALL THOSE WHO SERVE OR HAVE SERVED (OR WHO HAVE PLEDGED TO ONE DAY SERVE) THIS COUNTRY.  WE SALUTE YOU!


2 comments:

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  2. So agree Laura. Our military is amazing and the men and women who serve are selfless!

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